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The Importance of Product-Led Growth for Customer Success
Acquiring and keeping new customers is obviously at the core of running any successful business, and one thing about it is certain: for customers to keep using your product, they have to like it.
That’s where product-led growth strategies come into play. When you pursue product-led growth from a Customer Success angle, you’re even more likely to build up that customer loyalty. This sort of product-led growth strategy focuses on mapping the user experience, analyzing user behavior, and learning exactly how users engage with your product.
We’ll help answer the question, “What is product-led growth?” as well as outline some key elements to focus on when implementing a product-led growth strategy.
What Is Product-Led Growth?
Product-led growth (PLG) is a marketing strategy that relies heavily on the product as the leading factor in attracting, converting, and retaining customers. These are products that are so intuitive and solve problems so completely that they sell themselves.
This approach helps eliminate the need for expensive and large-scale marketing campaigns to build a brand. Many well-known companies, in fact, attribute their rapid success to a product-led growth strategy, such as Dropbox, Slack, Pinterest, and Zoom.
Often with these types of companies, there’s a “freemium” or a product option that offers basic features of a product at no cost. Offering this free variation of the product both allows the product to shine but also shows how much more value a customer can get by subscribing to the full, premium offering.
When it comes to product-led growth and Customer Success, there are three main pillars you can focus on:
- Clear and defined user journeys with a steady flow of feature adoption
- Users segmented into categories, like product-based or account-based
- A means of contacting and educating users when necessary
While the complexity of your product might determine whether a product-led growth strategy will work for your business, it’s worth looking into given that it can improve customer satisfaction and experience.
Key Elements of a Product-Led Growth Strategy
Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is product-led growth?” let’s cover the three key elements of that approach to illustrate how to effectively implement it at your company.
Focus on Customer Relationships and Feedback
Focusing on the user and setting them up for success is the most important aspect of a product-led growth strategy. When customers have a positive experience, they’re more likely to come back and continue using the product. This loyalty helps promote one of the most valuable forms of advertisement — word of mouth.
A study conducted by Dimension Data found that more than 80% of businesses felt that improving customer experience helped them stand out from their competition. Businesses reported several other benefits related to improving their customer experience, such as increased customer loyalty, increased revenue, and cost savings.
That raises the question: how exactly do you find out what’s important to the customer? The answer’s easy — you ask them. Using surveys, focus groups, and questionnaires, you can gather feedback that can give you a clear picture of any customer pain points with using your product and help you develop strategies to resolve them.
Use Data and Metrics to Drive Customer Marketing Decisions
Take the guesswork out of your customer marketing. By looking at your product metrics, you can figure out what your customers like, what features they use the most often, and what they can do without. This analysis will give you deeper insight into your customer behavior, and you might pick up on patterns you’ve otherwise overlooked.
Some key metrics you should track and analyze include:
- Net Promoter Score® (NPS)
- Net Revenue Retention (NRR)
- Net Retention Rate (NRR)
- Gross Renewal Rate (GRR)
- Time to Value (TTV)
- Retention Costs
If you map these metrics over customer usage metrics, you can spot trends in your most popular product features and figure out which can’t live without. This enables you to develop ways to replicate that success during future product development.
Always Work to Improve Your Product
For a successful product-led growth strategy, you need to be proactive in your product development, figuring out what the customer wants before they do. That means constantly working to improve the product and solve problems users are having or might have in the future.
By anticipating your customers’ needs, you’re also showing them that you care and that you’re putting the customer first. By analyzing the data you’ve already put together, you can gain new insights into where your customers are hitting roadblocks, where they might need more support, and where entirely new features might help customers solve their problems.
The Benefits of a Product-Led Approach
Let’s take a look at some of the key reasons more companies are choosing to adopt a product-led growth strategy.
Not every company or startup has the funds to put toward customer acquisition costs. That makes product-led growth a crucial tactic, not only for gaining new customers but also for ensuring that they’ll continue to come back. When your product can speak for itself, less money has to go towards traditional, expensive marketing campaigns. Plus, the value of your product is obvious.
“User-centered” or “customer centric” apply both to designing products with the user in mind as well as the team culture of putting the customer first. Most big companies have started to realize that brand loyalty and customer satisfaction are the biggest drivers of revenue, and these sorts of customer relationships are built on experiences where customers feel like your business really cares about their needs.
It Promotes Rapid Growth
Building a strong and reliable user base during a product launch can be a difficult task. A product-led growth strategy can assist by helping you detect and solve product issues from the start. If you’re focused on your product from the outset, you can hone in on what your customers are loving and emphasize those features even more.
It’s a Feedback-Gathering Machine
The best way to learn what your customers think about your product is to put it right in their hands and ask. With a product-led growth strategy, you can encourage a number of customers in your base to give you feedback, and those insights will undoubtedly give you a leg up in the industry.
Product-Led Growth, Customer Success: Compatible Strategies
When it comes to product-led growth and Customer Success, you don’t have to choose one or the other. Customer Success always focuses on providing the best customer experience, and a product-led growth strategy done right will emphasize the same thing. When all of these factors come together, you can increase customer acquisition and retention rates while lowering marketing costs and boosting revenue.
If you’re ready to take the first step toward a product-led growth strategy, take a look at your product adoption rates and check out our blog, 9 Walkthrough Tips to Increase Product Adoption.